Cathe Friedrich Reviews

A Review of Cardio Fusion Mix & Max (You’ve found your new favorite step aerobics workout)

May 20, 2019

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*Mix and Max is a premix routine taken from the Cathe Friedrich Cardio Fusion program.

Here’s a peek at the routine:

ATTENTION: Mix & Max has complex choreography.

Sometimes fun stuff is hard.  Sometimes fun stuff will make you want to throw things.  I can’t promise this routine won’t make you want to throw something.

My recommendation?

If you’ve done a lot of step aerobics in your life then go ahead and try Cardio Fusion Mix & Max.  You’ll eventually conquer this routine (and love it).


If you think activities like skipping and jumping jacks are about as easy as Calculus then don’t even bother with this one.  (Try something like Cathe Friedrich’s Low Impact Hiit, Crossfire, or Cardio Slam, instead.)

Let me explain what makes Mix and Max so incredible…

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

Instructor-Cathe Friedrich



Aerobic Step with 2 risers (per side)

5 lb. DB’s

Stability Ball

Length-80 minutes

HRM-670 calories


This ‘Ace’ rating has to do with the choreography in Mix and Max.  The steps in this routine are not for the beginner.  Read this to get a better understanding of my choreography ratings.

My rating- A

If you don’t own any dumbbells and don’t know where to start then read this, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells.

✔ Pro Tip: This guide will be helpful if you’re in the market for an aerobic step: Your Expert Guide to Buying and Using an Aerobic Step

Important Stuff about Cardio Fusion Mix & Max

Cardio Fusion has 3 premix workouts (All Step Cardio-48 minutes, Mixed Cardio-41 ½ minutes, and Mix & Max-80 minutes), in addition to the main workout.  This post is a review of the Mix & Max program.

I’ve already posted a review of the main routine in Mix in Max, which is 73 minutes in length.

Have 2 waters close by.  This is a long routine.  You’ll need both of them.

You’ll need more space than I normally recommend to do all the sections in Mix & Max.

I hate giving any workout an Ace choreography rating (because I don’t want to intimidate anyone from trying it out) but sometimes it’s called for.

The awesome thing about a Cathe Friedrich premix routine is that it’s made up of pieces of different workouts blended together.  Sometimes, that means you get to try out a Cathe workout (or 2) that you may not own (some premix workouts are reconfigurations of the same workout spliced in different ways but sometimes a premix program is a blend of workouts from different routines).  I love that.

The problem is that if you’re not familiar with the workouts being blended then you may have a hard time keeping up.  It all depends on how the workouts are combined.  In this case there are a few sections where you’ll be lost if you’ve never done the parent videos where the segments come from.  I’ve warned you.

Mix & Max blends segments from Body Max 2 (blue outfits), Low Impact Circuit (green outfits), and Drill Max (pink outfits).  You’ll get a sampling from each of these programs in this one video.

*Remember to read to the end of this post for links to a few places you can compare prices for this video 🙂


The warm-up comes from the Body Max 2 program.  You’ll need a aerobic step with 2 risers. (Two risers on each end, so a total of 4 risers.)

If you need extra risers you can find some here.)  There’s a long (9 ½ minute) step routine (as a warm-up) with a few minutes of stretching before you start the main workout.

There’s some choreography in the warm-up but as long as this isn’t the first day you’ve ever done step aerobics then it’s nothing you can’t do as long as you listen to Cathe.  Her music is perfect so that helps, too.

Get ready to jam to the 80’s.  Don’t start singing and forget why we’re here.

Keep your step with 2 risers out for the next section.  You won’t need any other equipment yet.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Cardio Fusion Mix & Max)


This is a step cardio segment and comes from the Low Impact Circuit program.  You’ll use your step with 2 risers.

If you like step aerobics you’ll like this section.  It’s classic step aerobics.  Cathe stays low-impact but don’t think that means it’s easy.  The choreography in this part is for the person with step experience

If you’re just starting step aerobics it may take you a few times to get every move but you’ll like it.

There are several ‘Blast’ segments where you repeat one exercise several times to get your heart rate going.


This part comes from Drill Max and the choreography is easy but the intensity is not for the beginner. 

You’ll use your step with only 1 riser, a 5 lb. DB, and your stability ball during this section.

There are 5 cardio drills.

Drill 1

Get your 5 lb. DB.  You’ll use it during the cardio portion of this drill.  The move with the dumbbells isn’t that hard.  The killer part comes when you have to do line taps for about 45 minutes (feels that way).  You repeat the routine twice.

Drill 2

You’ll need your step with 1 riser for drill 2.  This section has a lot of lateral jumping, hopping, and leaping.  I wish the music in Drill Max was better.  I think it would make the program easier somehow.

Drill 3

This is a cardio section using the stability ball.  You’ll quickly figure out if your ball is too heavy or not (every stability ball is NOT the same).  She repeats the entire routine twice so don’t get too excited when she finishes the first time.

Drill 4

You need your step with 1 riser again for drill 4.  I think this is the easiest step segment.

Drill 5

Put away all your equipment.  You don’t need anything for this drill.  Be prepared to get tired of forward hops.  This section feels like it will never end.  You repeat the routine 3 times.

Make the jumps big to get the most out of it.  And don’t forget to keep your core tight.  (*I’m so demanding, I know*)

Drill 6

Cathe calls this section football drills.  You’ll need your step with 1 riser, again.  You have to move your feet really fast around the step but these are fun.  The part that isn’t fun is the tuck jump burpee section at the end of drill 6 (So. Hard.).

You’ll feel like you’re close to done with this workout by now but you’re not.  I hate to tell you this but there’s a lot more to go.  Buckle down and don’t look at the clock.


This part goes back to Body Max 2You’ll need to go get your other risers because you need 2 risers (on each end) to do this step cardio section.

This section is what really puts Mix & Max in the Ace choreography rating.

This part of the workout is a complex step routine with no breakdown.  If you own Body Max 2 then you’ll get excited to see this section because it’s fun (Remember learning all the steps to the Thriller video?  Once you knew all the steps it was fun, right?). 

But if you’ve never done Body Max 2 (or it’s been a while since you did it) then you’ll be lost in the first 3 seconds.  Don’t get mad and quit.  Do jumping jacks until section four starts or learn this step routine.  You can do this!

She repeats the entire routine twice and then the entire segment is repeated again (for a total of 4 times through the routine).


This is more from Body Max 2 but the choreography isn’t as difficult as section three.  This segment has 4 power circuit high-impact blast routines (Cathe says that you’ll be doing weights too but you won’t in this premix). 

You’ll still need your step with 2 risers.  This is the hardest part of the workout because you’ll be exhausted by now.

In each circuit, Cathe teaches you a short step routine that you repeat 6 times followed by a harder intensity ‘blast’ routine.  The circuits are short but you have to pay attention to all the pieces.

Circuit 4 (in section 4) is the hardest.  Air jacks at this point are almost too much to ask of a girl.

Remember how high your step is and how freaking heavy your legs feel at this point.  It will take every ounce of energy to drag your body over the step without killing yourself.  You can do this. You’re killing the calories today with this workout.

Cool Down/Stretch

You will never be so happy to see the stretch segment than you are after this program.  The stretch comes from Body Max 2.  It’s a good one.  Don’t skip this.  Your legs really need it.

What Now?

I do one of the workouts from Cardio Fusion when I’m in the mood for classic step. 

If you own one or two of the 3 workouts that are ‘fused’ in this video then this is a good way to get a taste of the other programs (that you don’t have). 

But remember to be patient. 

When you only get a part of a workout then sometimes you’ll be missing a lot of important stuff (including the breakdown.)

You can find Cardio Fusion in a few places:

Cathe’s site


Collage Video (I noticed the cover art Collage Video is using is different than the one I have.  If you purchase from them make sure this is the same workout).

And Cardio Fusion Mix & Max is just one of hundreds of Cathe Friedrich workouts you get access to with a membership to Cathe on Demand.

For more details about Cathe Friedrich’s on demand program read, Everything You Need to Know About Cathe Live and Cathe on Demand + Live.

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